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Three Virginia men's soccer players announce intentions to turn professional

Three Virginia men's soccer players announce intentions to turn professional

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UVa soccer

Virginia’s Daryl Dike celebrates his goal against Louisville at Klöckner Stadium.

On Wednesday, the Virginia men’s soccer team announced that junior Joe Bell and sophomores Daryl Dike and Daniel Steedman have opted to leave the program to pursue professional soccer careers.

Dike, projected as one of the top picks in Thursday’s MLS SuperDraft, signed a Generation Adidas contract, making him eligible for selection as an underclassman. Dike and teammate Henry Kessler, who previously announced his intentions to turn pro, are two of the five collegiate soccer players to earn Generation Adidas contracts.

Bell is expected to sign with Viking FK, a professional soccer club in Norway, in the coming days, while Steedman has inked a deal with Atlanta United 2 of the United Soccer League.

“This group of young men could not have represented themselves, UVa or our program any better than they did,” Virginia coach George Gelnovatch said in a release announcing the departures. “They were all great students, great people and talented soccer players. They helped this team achieve and check off just about every box that you could check off in one season. For that I am grateful and wish all of them the best in pursuit of their hopes and dreams.”

Dike led the Cavaliers in points (28), goals (10) and assists (8) this past season and was a third team United Soccer Coaches All-American.

Bell was a finalist for the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy, collegiate soccer’s most prestigious honor, after earning first team All-America honors from the United Soccer Coaches, TopDrawerSoccer.com and Collegiate Soccer News. He also was named the ACC Midfielder of the Year and College Soccer’s Player of the Year by TopDrawerSoccer.com. The junior started 22 of 24 matches, tallying seven goals and four assists.

Steedman started 22 of Virginia’s 24 games as a sophomore and was second on the team with seven assists. He also was credited with three goals, including two that were game-winners.

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